2016 Planning Manual

DHCD is pleased to announce that the 2016 edition of the Planning Manual is now available for download on the DHCD Planning Manual webpage.  This edition comprehensively overhauls the last one written in 1988, and is designed to help communities identify the issues that matter most and to help them focus on developing action-oriented strategies to tackle them.

The 2016 update includes two modules:

  • Module 1 is The Municipal Planthat includes new concepts on developing a shared community vision, more concise and user-friendly plans, and effective implementation strategies. It gives advice on how to work with existing plans and includes a section on the role of the municipal plan in state Act 250 land use permits and Section 248 proceedings for electric generation facilities.


  • Module 2 details all five of the  State Designation Programs (downtown, villages, etc.) and includes case studies that show how cities and towns have used the programs to implement their plans and achieve their goals.

For VT planning history resources, the following interesting historical documents are available through the publications webpage:

Vision and Choice: Vermont’s Future, The State Framework Plan (1968)
-Vermont Planning Council

Rural Vermont: A Program for the Future, (1931)
-Vermont Commission on Country Life.

Town Planning: A Program of Civic Preparedness for Vermont Communities (1919)
-K.R.B. Flint